Abstract: Low-angle X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) measurements of soil samples, made at controlled relative humidities, showed the presence of major reflections at 20–33, 10–27, and 7–8 Å. The first reflection, which increased in intensity but did not shift in spacing with decreasing relative humidity, represents curved smectite layers. This spacing was also observed by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. The value of 10–27 Å for the second reflection, the 001 reflection of smetite, is unusually high, probably due to poorly stacked, irregularly curved layers. The 7–8-Å reflection originates from kaolinite or dehydrated halloysite, which also contain curved layers. The more curved the layer structure of the smectite, the more difficult it is to detect this phase; therefore the XRD relative peak heights are not directly proportional to the percentages of the smectite.